Baloch Lives Matter – TBP Editorial

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Boston, Buleda, New York, Kharan, Seattle, Quetta, Minneapolis, Turbat, Denver, Khuzdar the list goes on. These cities and their names are a world apart from each other, they have people of different colour, race, and ethnicities but there is one thing common between their people—they all are marching and protesting against systematic violence.

When it was still 25th of May in the American city of Minneapolis, the time had slipped a day ahead in Dannuk town of Turbat district. At 2am a mother, Malik Naz, was killed in Balochistan in an attempted robbery and at 7pm a father, George Floyd, was killed in America by the police force. Bramsh Baloch and Gianna Floyd were turned into Orphans.

Protests erupted in both the countries one demanding justice for a Black man and other seeking justice for an Orphaned girl. However, upon looking closer, one finds the roots of these protests lie somewhere else. People of colour have been facing discrimination by the system even after the success of the civil rights movement in the early 60s and Floyd’s murder provided an opening to the volcano of anger against the prejudiced system.

Similarly, Balochs have been facing state violence and discrimination for seven decades now, not by white people but the people of colour, the people of Pakistan. Same people who have been colouring their profiles black for the Black Lives Matter movement in America but they were indifferent towards the death of a woman who was killed by state-sponsored death squad men in their very backyard.

Death Squads are armed groups all over the Balochistan who are allegedly formed by Pakistan’s security agencies and tasked to hunt pro-independence activists. In return, they get impunity to loot houses, smuggle drugs, and arms.

Pakistan’s mainstream media did not report the death of Malik Naz and not a single ticker was run about the week-long protests in Balochistan. All the Baloch majority districts of Balochistan witnessed mass rallies and demonstrations in front of Press offices that too after 11 years. Protesters were chanting ‘enough is enough’ and they were demanding that state must dismember the death squads and end their impunity of looting and killing of people.

Instead of reporting the tragedy and condemning it, one of the prominent news channels in Pakistan used the picture of Bramsh Baloch, the orphaned child of Malik Naz, and showed it on their channel as another girl named Zohra Shah, who was beaten up by her employer in Rawalpindi city of Pakistan.

The level of insensitivity and indifference towards Baloch people makes one wonder if Baloch lives matter?

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